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KENT, Wash. – Police in Washington state said a severely disabled woman was found alive after spending nine days alone inside a towed car.

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According to KIRO-TV, Kent police responded to a missing person report shortly after 3 p.m. Feb. 14. The person who filed the report said her disabled sister hadn’t been seen for several days, the news outlet reported.

An investigation determined that the missing woman was last seen Feb. 5, “when her mother, a 45-year-old Kent resident, parked her vehicle at a gas station in Kent and walked off, leaving her daughter inside the car,” police wrote in a Facebook post. Gas station personnel later contacted a private towing company, Skyway Towing in Burien, to remove the vehicle, authorities said.

“(Gas station workers) knocked on the car to make sure nobody was in it,” Skyway Towing’s manager, Bon Pauza, told KIRO. “My driver had done the same. We thought we were clear.”

Police contacted the company about the vehicle, which had been taken to a lot in Burien, KIRO reported. Crews discovered the woman inside, authorities said, adding that she likely could not have called for help because of her disability.

“She had been inside the car for nine days alone in the tow yard during near-freezing weather,” police wrote in the Facebook post.

After police requested medical assistance, King County sheriff’s deputies and fire personnel rushed the woman to a nearby hospital in serious condition, according to the post.

“We are extremely relieved that we were able to locate and rescue the victim,” Kent Police Chief Rafael Padilla said in a statement. “If not for the efforts of our officers and the support of King County Sheriffs and Fire, this incident would likely have ended in tragedy.”

The investigation is ongoing, authorities said.